Mozzarella in 16 easy steps: A pictorial how-to

Hello, my friends. I’m back—ecco mi qua—after a weeklong trip to the U.S. plus six days (yes, it takes me that long!) to recuperate from jet lag and re-emersion into the rhythms of life with children-in-school. And what better way to nestle in and readjust then to hit a food fair on a cold, October Sunday? The excuse for the event was the ever-important Grape, but Italian edibles of every description were on hand along with music and abundant allegria. The “prize” of the day, however, goes to the young man who made mozzarella right before our hungry eyes. Here’s how you do it:

1. Advertise: Forget expensive creative teams. Chalk and a blackboard will do.

2. Check your credentials. Key word: “Pugliese”

3. Plop the curd into the bowl (the product of milk and caglio or rennet).

4. Break up the curd vigorously into small shreds.

5. Add salt. Just enough.

6. Add boiling water.

7. Stir with wooden paddle. It’s a steamy job but someone’s gotta do it.

8. Occasionally test the ever-changing consistency of the cheese. Stir, pull, stir, pull.

9. Adjust the hot water, ladling out some old, and pouring in some new.

10. Getting there…

11. Yep. There.

12. Make your first “pallone” (big ball).

13. Dunk it in clean, cold water and deftly shape it…giving just the right pinch…

14. …pulling off its dimpled sederino (little rear end) and leaving, well, voilà!

15. There you have it…fresh and ready for sale, bagged in its own salty, milky water.

16.  All accompanied by the merry tunes of an Italian marching band.

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10 Responses to Mozzarella in 16 easy steps: A pictorial how-to

  1. diane says:

    ahhhhh Thank You,always a pleasure to escape for a moment in my mind to Italy!

  2. dayphoto says:

    WONDERFUL!!!! I am standing up and clapping and clapping!!! For just a tiny second of time I was transported to Milan…I am so grateful!

    I am also glad your trip went well and that you can feel comfortable about your Momma now. Not having to worry is a huge gift.


  3. Joan says:

    Ah, the senses. The aroma, the taste, and even the tunes of the band. Conveyed brilliantly right through the comuter lines.

    • Thanks, Joan…my senses were on overload that day. One wants to take it all in, take it all home, eat it all up…there are not enough hours in the day, days in the week, etc. Sometimes I think Italy’s really had it. The government sucks. The economy sucks. “Making it” here is hard work if you don’t know the right people…and yet…there’s the food. And even though it doesn’t seem — intellectually — that that should be enough to sustain an entire way of life, drumroll please, it actually almost is. So weird. (THe 2015 EXPO will be here in Milan, and it’s all about food and sustainability. Should be interesting.)

  4. teresa elliott says:

    thank you my dear and gorgeous friend, for everything.

  5. A fabulous pictorial lesson in cheese making! Thank you – loved it! Sounds like it was a fabulous day out.

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